Still citing small minority for common violations

Officials from Fort Leonard Wood’s Directorate of Emergency Services said that while the vast majority of people enjoying hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation on the installation this year are doing so safely, there is still a small minority being cited for a few common infractions.
Officials from Fort Leonard Wood’s Directorate of Emergency Services said that while the vast majority of people enjoying hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation on the installation this year are doing so safely, there is still a small minority being cited for a few common infractions. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — Officials from Fort Leonard Wood’s Directorate of Emergency Services said that while the vast majority of people enjoying hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation on the installation this year are doing so safely, there is still a small minority being cited for a few common infractions.

According to Lt. Jason Ploss, Conservation Law Enforcement supervisor, more than 9,000 people used the Fort Leonard Wood iSportsman website to check into and out of recreational areas on Fort Leonard Wood during the 2021 fall deer and turkey hunting seasons. All recreational activity is conducted via the website, from purchasing appropriate permits to determining when areas are open or closed, along with sign-in and sign-out procedures.

During that same period, Ploss said 53 citations were issued.

“That’s .005 percent, which is very marginal, but we’re seeing the same common trends in infractions, so we’re just trying to educate the ones we’re obviously missing,” he said. “A lot of people are following the rules, doing the right things.”

Ploss said the majority of violations he sees every year have to do with not following proper procedures regarding area access.

“As conservation law enforcement, having everyone use iSportsman is important, so we know when you are out there recreating in an area,” he said. “If something happens to you, we know your last whereabouts or where you checked in, which gives us a footprint of where to start if we had to go looking for you.”

While someone may see this as a minor offense, Ploss said there are other, more crucial reasons to use iSportsman.

“The website tells you if an area is open or closed, so you don’t mistakenly take a firearm into a part of the installation where training is happening,” he said. “That could lead to something much more catastrophic.”

Another common infraction was attempting to hunt without state or iSportsman permits.

“You get a state permit, so Missouri can better track animal populations,” Ploss said. “You buy the iSportsman permit to help Fort Leonard Wood … provide world-class outdoor recreation opportunities.”

A few individuals were also cited for not wearing hunter orange, Ploss added.

“When they’re inside their blinds, they take their hunter orange off, thinking they’re OK,” he said. “But if other hunters are present, that’s another situation that could turn tragic very quickly.”

With two more hunting seasons remaining on Fort Leonard Wood this year — antlerless only is Saturday through Dec. 12, and alternative methods is Dec. 25 through Jan. 4 — Ploss asked the community to remember that regulations keep people safe.

“We want to thank those individuals who make safety their priority when they use Fort Leonard Wood’s incredible nature,” Ploss said. “Let’s finish this hunting season strong. Know your surroundings, dress appropriately for the weather, use a safety harness while in tree stands, let someone know where you are hunting and handle all weapons safely.”

Call 573.596.5002 or 573.528.8136, email jason.a.ploss.civ@army.mil or visit the Fort Leonard Wood website for more information regarding outdoor recreation opportunities on post.